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Nuts for Pups

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My puppy knows when it is Netflix time:) 

 He will eyeball the bag of trail-mix by the couch for the binge watching munchies… now what?

We know we have to watch out for chocolate and raisins, but what about our friend the nut?

Our dogs and cats should not eat nuts due to the high sodium and fat content.  They can also contain a little component called Tannic Acid, a type of tannin or tannoid.  This is an astringent that complicates nut ingestion for our pets. 

Some nuts can also be dangerously toxic – like macadamia nuts.

The fact is when ingesting a new food we just do not know how they will respond.

Every pet is different. 

Make sure you take the long walk in to the kitchen for pet treats and keep all of the nuts for yourself!

 

How To Help Prevent Tick Born Diseases

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What a lovely spring we’re having this winter! This warm weather is making us all dream of afternoons spent hiking, swimming, and biking. Of course we want to bring our furry best friends along! With the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about tick prevention, especially if you chose to stop using flea and tick preventatives during the winter.

First and foremost, pick a flea and tick preventative product and make sure you are using it correctly and regularly! At Market Street, we recommend Bravecto for your dogs. It’s a simple “treat” that you give your dog once every 3 months, as opposed to the typical monthly preventative. Bravecto gives your dog 12 weeks of protection from fleas, deer ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks. In addition, it also gives 8 weeks of protection from lone star ticks.

Once you’ve picked your tick preventative, it’s time to brush up on your tick knowledge. In Loudoun County, there are 3 common types of ticks: black-legged (deer) tick, lone star tick, and american dog tick. You are likely familiar with the deer tick, as that is the type that transmits Lyme disease. Deer ticks are very small and can be hard to see. They are typically 2.7mm! Lyme disease is, unfortunately, very common in Loudoun County. As many as 1 in 4 humans are diagnosed with Lyme disease in our county alone. For dogs, Lyme disease is the most common tick born disease. In addition to correctly administering your dog’s tick preventative, you may also want to consider the Lyme vaccine. The Lyme vaccine is initially given in two doses about 3-4 weeks apart. After the initial dose, it needs to administered yearly.

Black Legged Deer Tick

The lone star tick carries a lesser known, yet still dangerous, disease called ehrlichiosis. To learn more about ehrlichiosis, check out this link. Lone star ticks are larger than deer ticks and the female ticks can be easily recognized by white star or dot on the center of their backs.

Lone Star Tick

The American dog tick is probably the most common tick you will see on your pets. Roughly the same size as the lone star tick, the American dog tick is responsible for transmitting Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. While this is a less commonly seen disease, it is still seen in this area. To learn more about rocky mountain spotted fever, read this article.

American Dog Tick

Now that you have a general idea of the most common ticks in Loudoun County and some of the diseases they carry, what do you do if you find a tick on your pet? The best way to remove a tick is to use a pair of fine tipped tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the skin as you can and pull up with gentle, but forceful, and even pressure. Make sure you don’t twist the tick, as the could leave the head behind. After you remove the tick, you may want to clean the area with a mild soap and water. If you are unable to identify the type of tick, place it in a plastic, ziptop bag and you can bring it in to our clinic for one of our technicians to identify it. If you are unable or uncomfortable removing the tick, give us a call and we can schedule a technician appointment to help you. Be sure to check your dog for ticks frequently and check especially well after going on walks in the woods.

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So, in summary, how can you help prevent tick born diseases?
1. Correctly administer your pet’s tick preventative.
2. Consider getting the Lyme vaccine for your dogs.
3. Check your pet for ticks daily.
4. Promptly remove any ticks that you find on your pet.

Enjoy this amazing weather!!

Love Is In The Air

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Cupid Dog

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day to show just how much we love our significant others. Now, admittedly, Valentine’s Day is very low on my list of favorite holidays. I just can’t get behind one single day to show our love and appreciation of someone that’s supposed to be so near and dear to us. That being said, I do love any reason to decorate my home, bake cookies, and give presents.

I like to go all out for the people (and pets!) in my life. This year, I’m whipping up a batch of my dog’s favorite “cookies”! What’s that? You want to try your hand at making some treats for your pooch too? Fantastic!

All you need is:
1 1/2 cups of regular oatmeal
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 large, ripe banana
Cookie cutters of your choosing (optional)
Cookie sheet pan

Simply mix the peanut butter and banana together. I find it’s easiest to do in a stand mixer. Once the peanut butter and the banana are all combined, add in your oats. (If you want, you could pulse the oats around in a food processor to make them in to more of “powder”, but I’m lazy and like to think my dog likes the texture of the oats.) Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2″ thick. Using whatever cookie cutters you like, cut out shapes until all your dough is used up. You could also just use a knife and cut it into squares. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°. Let them cool completely before letting Fido sample your hard work!

Do you have any special traditions for Valentine’s Day? Does your pet get pampered in bed with breakfast and a nice massage? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at Market Street Animal Clinic!

Valentine Cat

How To Bond With Your New Pet

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Did you get a new pet recently? Or maybe you realized you haven’t been giving your pet the attention they deserve. Here are some great ways to connect (or re-connect!) with your pet!

1. If your bonding with a new pet, trust must be established. This is especially true if you have rescued an older pet or one who has already been bounced around multiple homes. To do this, you may want to let your new buddy discovery their new home in a safe manner. Let him sniff around and discover all the new sights and smells. Try not to use a loud voice when talking to your pet. Instead, use a soft, calming voice so as not to scare him.

beagle sniffing

2. When your petting your new friend, be sure to pay attention. Don’t just zone out watching TV or looking at your phone. Talk to them while you pet them and pay attention to their reactions. Do they not like when you scratch their back? Do they LOVE being scratched behind the ears? Take note of what your pet does and does not like.

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3. Just like humans, pets need exercise! Even just a short walk around the block is a great way to bond with your new dog, so long as they are healthy enough to do so.  This also helps them acclimate to their new neighborhood. For the kitties, break out a laser pointer or special toy and let her run around the living room to get some energy out.

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4. Obedience training is a fantastic way to get your pup’s confidence up. Some cats even enjoy this too! Try to use as much positive reinforcement as possible while training your pet. Don’t make this sessions longer than your pet can handle, just long enough to engage them and make sure they’re having fun!

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5. Play! Play! Play! Make sure to spend lots of time playing with your pet. Does your dog love to fetch? Or maybe tug of war? Maybe he likes to swim or chase frisbees? Whatever your pet enjoys, make sure you make time to do it each day! Not only does this let your pet know you love them, it also allows them to get out energy. Remember, a tired pet, is a good pet.

playingfetch

Hopefully these tips help you and your new best friend to bond quickly and that bond will last a lifetime!

New Year’s Resolutions

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With just a few days left in 2016, I’m sure many of you are thinking of your New Year’s resolutions or maybe just one or two things you’d like to change in the new year. Some of us want to exercise more, learn to a new skill, or dedicate more time to our families and friends. What about your pets? If they could vocalize their resolutions, what would they be? We’ve got some ideas!

1. Stop drinking out of the toilet.

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2. Cut back on the quantity of cat poop I’ve been snacking on.

cat poop


3. Help clean up after the kids more.

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4. Stop clawing the couch…and start clawing the chair.

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5. Become a better guard dog.

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What would your pet say is their New Year’s resolution? Let us know on our Facebook page!

From all of us at Market Street Animal Clinic, Happy New Year!!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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Here we are just a little over a week away from the first official day of winter! Time for hot chocolate, cozy blankets, fires in the fireplace, and all the other snuggley, warm activities of winter. While you’re dragging out your winter wardrobe and electric blankets, you may want to take a minute to think about any changes you may need to make for your pets as well.

For older pets, or pets with joint problems, you may want to discuss a joint supplement with your veterinarian. The cold weather can make your pets’ joints achy and stiff. This is especially true for pets that already have joint issues or dogs that are older. A joint supplement could help alleviate the discomfort and could help improve your pet’s mobility.

You may also be thinking about stashing the heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention medications, but don’t! Here in Northern Virginia, we recommend using both heartworm and flea and tick prevention year round. For more information on this particular topic, check out our blog post.

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Does your pet have particularly short or thin fur? You may want to consider getting them a jacket or sweater. This can be especially nice for when you have to take your pet for a walk. For snowy or icy days, you could also use pet booties so your pet can get a better grip on the ground.

Be sure you aren’t leaving your pets in the car during the winter! Your car acts as a refrigerator and can cause the temperature of the car to drop severely. Hypothermia and frostbite are both serious factors that can harm pets.

After you take your pup for a walk, be sure to rinse and thoroughly dry off their paws and belly. Salt, ice melt, and other chemicals are frequently spread on sidewalks and roadways during the winter. These items can be toxic to your dog and cause severe GI upset if ingested. On that note, if you choose to use a de-icing product on your walkways and driveway, be sure it is a pet safe product.

Are you ready for another winter of fun with your favorite furry companion?

snowman-dog

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ahh, another delicious holiday is upon us! While you are enjoying your turkey and stuffing, make sure you are being mindful of your furry pals! Thanksgiving can be a dangerous day for pets, but with a little extra caution, your day can be safe and wonderful for all.

As the main attraction of Thanksgiving is the food, you may want to include your dog or cat in the holiday festivities. It’s ok to give them a small amount of fully cooked, white meat from the turkey but DO NOT give them any bones! When bones are cooked, they become brittle and can splinter and get stuck in your pets throat or intestines. This can be very painful and life threatening. Why white meat? The dark meat is fattier and can cause tummy troubles in your pet. Nobody wants to deal with their pet having diarrhea or vomiting while they’re entertaining their guests.

Most people know that garlic and onions are not safe for pets. They can cause damage to red blood cells, which can lead to the cells not being able to carry oxygen. They can also cause anemia, which in severe cases can lead to organ damage, organ failure, or even death. If you suspect your pet has eaten garlic or onions, call your veterinarian immediately. If caught early, treatment can be fairly simple.

The meal is done and everyone has begun to clean up. Be sure you secure the trash! Dogs and cats are notorious for pawing through the trash looking for some yummy “leftovers”. Not only do you not want to wake up to trash slung all over your home, but you also don’t want to bring your pet in to the vet for a foreign body.

One last tip for the holidays. Make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date! Have you moved or changed phone numbers recently? Be sure to update the information for your pet’s chip! With all the guests coming in and out all day, it’s easy for your pet to slip out the door and take off!

Our hours are slightly different through the holiday season. Be sure to check out our website or Facebook page to keep up with all the information.

We hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day with friends and family!

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5 Medical Emergencies

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There are certain illness and injuries that need to be seen by a vet right away. Some things can wait until the morning, like if your typically healthy dog vomits once. However, other things, such as bloat”, need to be seen immediately. Here are 5 medical conditions that you need to take your pet straight to the vet for.

1. Difficulty Breathing

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If your pet is breathing heavily, puffing their lips, breathing faster, or just plain seems to be breathing “weird”, get him to a vet immediately. Difficulty breathing can be a symptom of so many different things, which means your vet will likely want to take x-rays and run blood work.

2. Bloat

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Bloat is one of the scariest pet emergencies because of how rapidly pets can decline when suffering from this. Bloat, also known as Gastric Dilation-Volvus (GDV), is when a dogs stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and then expands and sometimes rotates 90°-360°. This can cut off blood flow to the heart and other vital organs, significantly lower blood pressure, and cause shock. While bloat is typically seen in larger, deep-chested breeds such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Boxers, it can happen to any dog. Signs of bloat can include restlessness, attempting to vomit, bloated abdomen, whining, and nausea.

3. Unable to Urinate

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are painful, but they can also be very dangerous. If your pet has woken you up multiples times to go potty, or your cat is scratching endlessly at their litterbox, they may have an UTI. However, if your pet is unable to urinate, or is only able to pass a small amount of urine, there is a serious problem. Urinary obstructions may be due to inflammation or pressure on the urethra or even a blockage. If your pet is unable to urinate and the issue is not resolved fairly quickly, the bladder could rupture. This would cause urine to leak into the abdomen and introduce massive infection, as well as be extremely painful.

4. Blunt Force Trauma

Sick Dog

Whether your pet was hit by a car or kicked by a horse, if there is any blunt force trauma, you should immediately to take your pet to the vet. Even if the outside of your pet appears normal or there is only a small bump, they need to be examined. Some internal injuries may not be visible from the outside for several hours. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

5. Exposure to Toxins

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If you suspect that your pet has eaten some sort of toxin (i.e. chocolate, chemicals, certain plants, medications, etc.), bring them to a veterinarian. There are so many different things that are toxic to animals. For a more comprehensive list, check out this link by the ASPCA.

If you notice any of these in your pet, PLEASE get them to a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! While we will always see your pets during business hours, please note that Market Street Animal Clinic is not a 24/7 hospital. We recommend that you find the closest emergency vet hospital to you so that you can be prepared in the event that your pet has a medical emergency and we are not open.

While we certainly hope you will never have to bring your pet in for one of these emergencies, we are here for you. If possible, please call us to let us know you are on your way. That way we can be prepared for your pet as best as we can.

Oh, Deer!

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Fall is a wonderful time of year. The leaves change into a glorious colors, the air is crisp and cool, and it’s nearly the beginning of the holiday season! But do you know what else happens this time of year? It’s rut season for deer!

fc-deer-love-hate1

What is rut season? Rutting, or mating, is when bucks (male deer) search for as many does (female deer) as possible to impregnate. In the Northern Virginia area, peak rut season is about 3 weeks long. In many species, the rut is triggered by the shortening days. The rut season is different for each species as it also depends on the gestation period (pregnancy). Bucks act very differently during this time. They will rub their antlers on trees and drag their hooves in the dirt. This is a way of marking their territory. They will also spar with other bucks of similar size. Sparing is a way for them to show their dominance.

deer-scraping-on-tree Whitetail Deer Battling

Why does all this matter? Well, it means bucks and does are much more active. This means that you are likely to see a lot more deer all day! If you see deer, do not approach them, especially bucks. Also, be sure to pay extra attention to the sides of the road when driving! Remember, if you see one deer, their are likely many more close by.

For some ideas on how to help you avoid a car accident with deer, check out this article by Geico.

Keep your eyes open and be careful out there! Happy rut season!

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween- a wonderfully fun holiday when you get to pass out candy to all the kids dressed up in fun and adorable costumes! While this may be a fun and favorite holiday for humans, it can be a dangerous one for your pets.

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There’s the obvious concern of your dog eating some chocolate. As you likely know, chocolate is not good for animals. Chocolate contains two ingredients that are toxic to dogs: caffeine and theobromine. Both of these ingredients can speed the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, call your vet or an emergency vet to see what they recommend. Some signs of chocolate toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, elevated heart rate, or tremors. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away.

Did you know that Halloween is one of the biggest days for dogs to run away? While you’re opening the door to give out candy, your dog could be trying sneak out. If you have a particularly adventurous dog, you may want to set them up in a room where you can close the door or put a baby gate up. You should put their bed, favorite toys, and maybe a special treat in the room with them to make them feel safe and comfortable. This may also help a pet who is anxious with new people.

It may be a good idea to take your dog out for a long walk before the trick or treating festivities begin, to ensure he is tired and calm. Be sure you don’t leave your pet outside, even in a fenced yard, as the extra foot traffic of the trick or treaters could cause your pet excessive stress.

dr k and kids

Happy Halloween from your friends at Market Street! We hope you have a fun and safe day!